Female Game Makers Earn 86 Cents For Every Male Dollar

Women continue to make substantially less than men in the video game industry.

That, at least, is the indication of the latest edition of Gamasutra’s annual Game Developer Salary Survey. The survey which polls more than releases on an annual basis and combines data from a collective of more than 4,000 industry professionals revealed that women in the business of making games make, across the board, around $13,000 less than their male counterparts each year.

While this is definitely a sad state of affairs the survey also took time to point out that the game industry’s pay gap, while substantial, is actually smaller than the national average. Whereas women around the United States make an average of 77 cents for every dollar their male coworkers make, women in the game industry make about 86 cents. The survey would go on to discuss the likely reasons for this gap and some potential ways that it could be reduced or even eliminated in the future.

“One of the prevailing theories, reported by Pew Research, is that women are more likely to experience career interruption than men, as a higher percentage of women take time off to care for family,” said the report. “Such career interruptions could have an impact on longer-term earnings.”

To counter this issue the survey recommended developer adopting “more flexibility in working conditions and hours.” It then cited a recent paper by Harvard professor Claudia Goldin who expressed her belief that the wage gap would disappear completely “if firms did not incentive individuals who [labor] long hours.” In other words, what every major game company basically does.

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10 Comments on Female Game Makers Earn 86 Cents For Every Male Dollar


On July 23, 2014 at 1:35 am

I’ll even work work for that! what the friggin hell is wrong with these women. they want want want all the time. its easy money.
hey you know when women get it all, its life for us men is going to be softsville…..hangon ! its already heading that way. :(


On July 23, 2014 at 5:10 am

Or maybe it’s because women tend not to negotiate starting salaries as high as men, take time off for maternity leave, or simply because they’re still emerging in the industry and thus are not as high up the ladder as men. Could it be any of these rational things instead of just “durrr videogamez iz sexist durrr?” Of course, that would require actually thinking about stuff and letting facts decide your opinions instead of letting your biases dictate the evidence, the complete opposite of what a professional journalist is supposed to do. (See also Phil Hornshaw’s laughably misjudged defence of the indefensible Anita Sarkeesian on the same day as this article.)

GameFront posts endless non-stories promoting its social agenda while maintaining an entirely white male staff. Continue to ignore the backlash from the overwhelming majority of your audience – all of whom are entirely on board with equality in the games industry but are NOT on board with how you are manipulating events and circumstances in order to further your selfish need to see yourselves as progressives – and we will eventually vote with our feet. Keep reporting on stuff that we don’t care about and crying like babies about how unsophisticated we are when we point out the flaws or dishonesty in what you report, and we will find a site that actually reports on games instead of politics. It’s that simple.


On July 23, 2014 at 5:22 am

This is a story that is, potentially at least, an actual account of women not being treated equally to men in the games industry. Unfortunately, due to Gamefront’s relentless abuse of the racism/sexism/homophobia cards over the years, it’s now impossible to read articles like these without cynicism. I just cannot trust anything on this site that’s related to gender issues anymore, and considering Phil only just wrote a simpering, emotionally-charged and biased article trying to justify and promote the biggest liability to the feminist cause in living memory, I think I’m 100% right to question your impartiality. The fact that you in particular appear to have made it your mission to take over Ross Lincoln’s role as the resident sneering, foaming Marxist of this site – see “Far Cry 4′s cover art is racist because there’s a rich white dude with a poor black dude even though I know nothing about either of these characters and presumably the rich white dude is the villain anyway” as a further example – is more proof.

We are finally witnessing a widescale revolt against Gamefront’s output, and it’s about time too. You are a games site, you report on videogames and what goes on in the companies that make videogames. You do not use videogames as a means to an end in order to keep telling us your personal political views, the games ARE the end. If you can’t figure that out, go and write for a site about social issues and let people who want to primarily discuss games take over.


On July 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

Unfortunately it is not just gaming but almost all jobs that can be blamed for this archaic practice.

The good news is that the world is changing, compare it to how things were in the 1980′s. It is getting better in regards to equality in the workplace (In the Western world), just much too slowly.


On July 23, 2014 at 8:57 am

@Aedelric: It’ll only take longer the more sites like this confuse equality with feminism, and feminism with sexism. Phil Hornshaw posts an article championing a sexist who confuses her sexism with feminism even though real feminists have taken her arguments apart repeatedly. Feminism has its roots in a need for equal rights but has now been bastardised by people like cheerleader Phil to the point where it’s hard to tell the difference between sexism and feminism. This muddying of the waters leads otherwise fair and reasonable people to resist actual egalitarian measures or moderate feminism because they see it as a slippery slope to sexism, which is the very thing that the original feminists and suffragettes originally wanted to rid society of before the extremists decided that sexism against men was acceptable, and hand-wringers like Phil were too ill-informed and too weak-willed to question.

A woman got rape threats because she campaigned to get a woman put on a bank note. That’s clearly unacceptable and she’s what I would call a true feminist who wants to champion women as a positive in society, not a disgusting frothing bigot like Anita Sarkeesian who would rather just blame men for all the world’s ills and is happy enough to take all women down with her whether other women actually support her ridiculous views or not. We need more coverage of actual news on this site instead of conjecture and social bias, because nobody wins when the dead horse is flogged to the extent that it gets on here.

Jennifer Snow

On July 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Could it possibly be because the women in the games industry don’t go for exactly the same jobs men do (in programming and design), have family obligations that they prioritize over working 14 hour days during crunch time, and don’t come in with the same educational and experience chops that men do?

Those are all reasons for why that oft-quoted and hilariously erroneous “national average” pay gap figure is cited. Professional women *in exactly the same jobs* as men who work full time and have no children make MORE money than men do, on average.

There’s no sense in bemoaning a pay gap that only exists because the statistics reflect a difference in attitude toward work between women and men. If you actually filter for it, the statistical error is greater than the gap. And, duh. If employers actually paid women less, why the heck don’t they fire all their men and replace them with cheaper women? Because they just LIKE paying more for no reason? No. Women get paid less because they do different jobs that have different pay scales.


On July 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Women get paid substantially MORE per each hour worked than men in pretty much every single business sector, since they can take ample time out to have children yet still get paid full or partial salary. Men don’t get anywhere near the same amount of rights for paternity leave. That’s ignoring the incredible amount of bias the family courts show to women, the excessive state funding for female-specific diseases compared to male ones (breast cancer gets roughly 85% more funding than prostate cancer), and all manner of other things that get conveniently ignored in order to keep pushing the lie that women are treated worse by society than men.

Gamefront, as a news and information outlet, has a mandate to report on things in a non-partisan fashion. It is utterly failing to do so, as evidenced by Phil Hornshaw’s most recent brainfart in promoting Anita Sarkeesian, aka the biggest argument against feminist theory in the 21st century. And the readers are starting to realize this as well, judging by the comments.


On July 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

The authors of the study chose not to adjust these gender-based salary figures for any of the other factors that their own report indicates are major influences on salaries. In other words the figures do not answer the question if women with similar experience and qualifications are paid differently than men.

In addition their selection of participants (“we sent email invitations to Game Developers Conference 2014 attendees, and Gamasutra members”) could introduce a whole range of biases.


On July 24, 2014 at 12:42 am

More stories like this and less conjecture in future please, Gamefront. Nothing wrong with statistical reports such as these, but you cross the line when you start advertising on behalf of incompetent idiots like Anita Sarkeesian just because you think it’s politically correct to do so, or trying to infer discrimination in videogames when nine times out of ten there isn’t any and you’re just applying your belief systems beyond the point where it could be considered reasonable to do so. (see *_*’s Far Cry 4 example)

We don’t want a journalistic pissing contest to see who can act the most outraged and offended at things that more rational minds wouldn’t even see as an issue. Only MPSewell still seems to fall for it.


On July 24, 2014 at 1:53 am

@Dylan – It’s like you haven’t even read the article.